MINFORD—Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) were being celebrated at all three Minford Local Schools as students learned spreading kindness was better than spreading hate.
What started as a trial run in Ms. Kendra Cram’s Social and Emotional class at the elementary school, was implemented throughout the district last week due to the success of the Kindness Week last year.
The week was not only for the elementary students, but both middle and high school students participated in activities to celebrate kindness. Throughout the week, students had a dress-up day with different themes like Wild about Kindness Camo, Hippie Love & Kindness, Pajama Dream of Kindness, Sports Team up for Kindness and Hawaiian Being kind will take you places Day.
Shirts were also proudly on display on students and teachers to help carry out the mission of Kindness Week at the schools. Student shirts read the message, “It takes a village to raise a child,” while the teachers and staff shirts stated, “We are that village.”
“The mission statement was to create a community and culture of change by empowering the youth to take an active role in making an impact on the world through kindness.,” Cram said.
At the high school level, students were led by English teacher, Ashley Henry, throughout the Kindness Week. High schoolers participated in door decorating contests, kindness notes on lockers, a canned food drive through the Bible Club, suckers and water bottles with kindness messages passed out to students and more.
Other activities throughout the district included a photo booth, door decorating contests at the middle school, Plinko game in the elementary gym and a RAK Money Machine in the cafeteria, where students would get in the machine and kindness words would blow around for students to catch and share.
“The middle school has taken on lots of different challenges during this week like Bethany Ottens, 6th-grade math class, they have taken on counting the pennies,” said Dennis Evans, Minford middle school principal. “They have worked on the canned food, the pop tabs, they are going to different places, like the pop tabs go to the Ronald McDonald House, the canned food will go to our local food banks, and the penny drive is for the OMUN rebuilding a community in Nigeria.”
Evans continued, “Anything that helps people get better, like kindness speaks, be a double dose, I do something for you which makes you feel good and it makes me feel good giving it to you. I think the more opportunity we can give kids to learn and listen. The best way to do that is by helping out people.”
Two of the teachers, who had been putting in a great amount of work to help with Kindness Week, Kelsey Flowers and Shelby Williams, told some of what has been going on.
“All week, the kids have been doing things, like reading kindness books and writing letters. Last year, even after the Kindness week ended, the kids seemed to carry it on for a month or more, doing RAK and other things,” the teachers said.
“Last year, this idea branched off from our Social/Emotional class, where we are trying to teach kids just life skills, how to treat others, how to respond to certain things. I think our building has done a really good job of getting past just teaching reading and math. That’s been the driving force behind Kindness Week,’ Minford Elementary Principal, Ryan McGraw said, whose building was where it all started.
He said he didn’t know how many community members have donated, and that it’s not just been a school week, it has been a community week and that the community has not just reached out to the students, but have done things for the staff members as well. McGraw shared the community has fed them and given the bus drivers popcorn. He stated the whole idea of all this kindness is replacing bad or not good behaviors and thoughts with kind and good things.
With the success of a district-wide Kindness Week, Cram said she wanted to thank those community members who were helping in the storytelling with the students. She also wants to thank everyone throughout the district who made the week a success once again.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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